Gordon Bracht, age 90, of Twin Brooks, SD died Monday, April 4, 2016, at the Milbank Area Hospital – Avera Health.
Funeral service will be held on Monday, April 11, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at American Lutheran Church in Milbank with Rev. Carl Larson officiating. Burial will follow in the Milbank City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, at Mundwiler Funeral Home and will continue on Monday for one hour prior to the time of service at the church.
Casket bearers will be Dave Bergan, Roger Bracht, Howard Grinager, Lee Ott, Harvey Schaefer, and Lloyd Tillma. Honorary bearers include the American Lutheran Church “Sunday Morning Sentries”, the Order of the Eastern Star Sisters and Brothers, and the Masonic Lodge Brothers.
Gordon Carl Bracht, retired long time Grant County farmer, was born August 30, 1925, in Grant Center Township, the son of Carl and Ida (Bohn) Bracht. He attended rural school in Grant Center #2 and graduated from Milbank High School in 1943. He farmed with his father and his brother, Russell, until both brothers were called to military service. Gordon served in the U.S. Army as Company Clerk from May of 1945 until March of 1946. Upon discharge, he returned to the family farming operation.
Gordon was united in marriage with Norma Benson on June 15, 1947. To this union two children were born, Dennis and Nancy. They made their home on the farm near Twin Brooks their entire married life of 66 years, and he continued to live on the farm until his death. Gordon was a handyman who especially loved carpentry. Over many years, he and Norma remodeled every building on their circa 1920 farmstead.
While raising their family, Gordon served as chairman of the Twin Brooks School Board for many years. He organized Twin Brooks Boy Scout Troop 37. During his seven years as Scoutmaster, he was proud to have his son and one other scout earn the rank of Eagle Scout. He also served on the Grant County Library Board before and during the construction of the new library. He was a life member of Birch Miller Post #9, American Legion, and a charter member of the Grant County Historical Society. Gordon was active in Masonic Lodge, where he served as Worshipful Master, also as District Master and Grand Lodge Officer. He and Norma were active members of and especially enjoyed membership in Order of the Eastern Star. He served the Milbank chapter as Worthy Patron and was elected Worthy Grand Patron for the State of South Dakota in 1986.
Gordon was a longtime member of Parkview United Methodist Church and served on the building committee. In later years, he was a faithful member of the American Lutheran Church, serving on the Church Council. After Norma’s death, Gordon and the “Sentries” could be found at their stations in the narthex, greeting worshippers as they arrived. He looked forward to his weekly visits with Pastor Carl.
Norma and Gordon shared a love for travel, visiting every state but Hawaii in their travel trailers, motor coach, or on guided tours. They traveled to Europe and the Scandinavian countries, and built lifelong friendships with many of their tour and cruise companions. After retirement they spent winters in Arizona, where Gordon added stained glass to his other hobbies of antique cars, farm toy collecting, and woodworking.
Gordon was a devoted husband and father, and his pride and joy were his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. For his family, his most enduring legacy will be the selfless love and devotion with which he faithfully cared for Norma in her final years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma; his parents, Carl and Ida Bracht; and two brothers, Russell and Marwood.
Gordon is survived by his son, Dennis (Charlotte) Bracht of Folsom, CA; daughter, Nancy (Sid) Fosheim of Milbank, SD; four grandchildren: Farra Bracht, Daron Bracht, Sarah (Jon) Woodward, and Greg Fosheim (Mark Doran); three great-grandchildren: Amara and Dominic Woodward and Ford Merrill; sister-in-law, Lila Benson of Clinton, MN; and cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family suggests memorials to the American Lutheran Church Memorial Garden or the Northeast South Dakota Health Care Foundation.